As the festive season approaches, Nigerians have been advised to be vigilant of the activities of smugglers as all kinds of fake plastic rice are being smuggled into the country.
Speaking on Tuesday at a press briefing in Lagos, the Nigerian Customs Area Controller of the Federal Operations Unit, F.O.U., Ikeja, Comptroller Mohammed Haruna, revealed that the service intercepted 102 bags of plastic rice branded “Beat Tomato Rice” with no date of manufacture.
The Comptroller, who said that the plastic rice which was intercepted along Ikeja area on Monday, was stored for distribution as Yuletide gifts for the public, adding that a suspect was arrested in connection with the seizure.
”Today am happy to tell you that after our last week press briefing, we intensified our operations in search of the alleged “plastic rice” and with the support of some patriotic Nigerians most especially a member of the forth estate of the realm, we were able to locate where this rice were stored for distribution to the public as yuletide gift.As I speak with you, we have successfully evacuated 102 bags of 25 kg branded ”Best Tomato Rice” has no NAFDAC Batch Number and manufacture/expiring dates. Preliminary analysis on the rice after boiling shows that the rice is sticky and plastic in nature.We are still investigating to ascertain how many of this rice has been circulated and how best to retrieve it in order to protect and safeguard the health of Nigerians and to bring those behind it to book.Before now, I thought it was a rumour that the plastic rice is all over the country but with this seizure, I have been totally convinced that such rice exists.We have done the preliminary analysis on the plastic rice. After boiling, it was sticky and only God knows what would have happened if people consumed it.I advise those economic saboteurs who see yuletide season as a peak period for nefarious acts to desist from such illegal business.
The unit has decided other operational modalities that will give them a run for their monies and count their losses,” News Agency of Nigeria, NAN quoted the comptroller as saying.
He then advised the media to educate the public on the existence of plastic rice, adding that it was no longer a rumour.
However, according to expert, Emmie Shield, the plastic rice is made by forming potatoes and sweet potatoes into regular rice grains shape, then adding industrial synthetic resins.
Shield said it remains hard after cooking and can cause serious health issues.
To avoid purchasing this fake rice, note the following ways to identify the fake rice, according to Daily Post:
”LAKE RICE is of good quality. The major difference between LAKE RICE and the ones imported is that the imported has a minimum storage of five to six years storage life span, but LAKE RICE is fresh,” the Governor said.